Pioneer Title Acquired by Glendale Fed : Thrift Gets 36 Offices in Northern California

Times Staff Writer

Glendale Federal Savings & Loan Assn. said Thursday that it has expanded its title insurance operations to Northern California by acquiring Pioneer Title Co. of California for an undisclosed amount.

Pioneer Title had been 40% owned by the title insurance subsidiary of Ticor Inc., a large financial-services firm whose mortgage insurance operations face possible insolvency because of troubles at an East Coast real estate investment company. The other 60% of Pioneer Title was owned by three of the firm's top executives.

Pioneer Title, based in Walnut Creek, operates 36 offices and has 400 employees in eight Northern California counties. The sale price was kept secret, but Ticor attorney Erich Everbach said the amount was "not significant in terms of our overall operations or in terms of Glendale's."

Continued Expansion

The sale reflects Glendale Federal's continued expansion in financial services, which now include escrow and title insurance operations throughout California. Glendale Federal bought American Title Co. in Southern California early last year.

"With this acquisition, Glendale Federal further realizes its goal of becoming a . . . one-stop provider of real estate services," said Glendale's chief executive, Norman W. Coulson. Glendale Federal, with $14 billion in assets and 200 branch offices in California and Florida, is the nation's fifth-largest S&L.;

Everbach said the Pioneer Title sale is not related to the problems of Ticor's mortgage subsidiary, which faces losses of up to $166 million because Equity Programs Investment Co. announced last summer that it had defaulted on payments of $1.4 billion in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Ticor Mortgage insured the loans.

Ticor Title and Ticor Mortgage were later split into separate subsidiaries as part of a move by the parent company to protect the healthy title insurance operations. The name of Ticor Mortgage was also later changed to TMIC Insurance Co.

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